April 6, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Here are this week's minor league notes from Fort Myers:
- With spring training coming to an end, the Red Sox have set their 25-man roster. The most notable moves from a minor league perspective are Rusney Castillo, Jackie Bradley Jr., Matt Barnes (pictured), and Brandon Workman being optioned to Pawtucket to start the year. Barnes will begin in the rotation, while Workman will go to the bullpen. The team also announced that Edwin Escobar will start the year on the disabled list with elbow inflammation.
- After Christian Vazquez underwent Tommy John surgery last week, there was some speculation that Blake Swihart may start the season in the majors. That idea was quickly squashed after the Red Sox traded for Sandy Leon from the Washington Nationals. Leon will begin the season in Boston, while Swihart and Humberto Quintero will be the catchers for the PawSox.
- The minor league season does not start until Thursday, and the final rosters for the affiliates have not been announced, but SoxProspects.com has an updated projection for each team's roster based on the news that has been coming out of camp. The Pawtucket and Greenville rosters look especially strong, with Pawtucket's rotation consisting of four of the system's top eight prospects.
- In a slight change of pace from our normal minor league-centric coverage, our Assistant Director of Scouting Chaz Fiorino got a chance to see Clay Buchholz on the back fields, and wrote up what he saw in the latest edition of The Write-Up. Buchholz dominated the low-minor's hitters as you would expect, and Fiorino saw positive signs that offer encouragement as the right-hander is set to take the mound on Opening Day.
- Our Director of Scouting, Ian Cundall, focused on some young arms in his latest Scouting Scratch, including a pair of 2014 draftees who may be flying a bit under the radar.
- One of the biggest risers on the SoxProspects.com rankings over the past year has been Mauricio Dubon (pictured). Managing Editor Matt Huegel caught up with Dubon, who is looking to become the second Honduran-born player to reach the major leagues.
- The SoxProspects.com community has voted for its 2015 Pre-Season All-Stars at each position. The list features some high-upside talent in the low minors, as well as a host of players who will start the season with the PawSox.
- After finishing off the spring with a 1.217 OPS, the praise for Mookie Betts continues to come in. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com writes how Betts is being compared to Andrew McCutchen and Derek Jeter, while Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal discusses how this is not the first time that scouts have recognized the 22-year-old outfielder.
- Baseball America released its 2015 Organizational Talent rankings last week, and Boston came in second, trailing only Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs.
- After having a fantastic spring training, Brian Johnson has surely moved himself up the pitching depth chart. Alex Skillin from Over the Monster wrote about how Johnson could be in a better position to help the Red Sox this season than fellow left-handers Henry Owens and Eduardo Rodriguez.
- With the Red Sox holding the seventh pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, they may have some interesting decisions to make when their selection comes up. Arguably the two best pitchers in the draft, Brady Aiken and Mike Matuella, will both undergo Tommy John surgery, which will most likely drop one, if not both, to the Red Sox at number seven.
- While the Sea Dogs roster will be weaker this year than in past years, there are still some interesting names to follow. Mike Antonellis, the voice of the Sea Dogs, has been previewing each position, with some good insight on many potential Sea Dogs.
- The following players were released last week: Chris Hernandez, Felipe Paulino, Casey Crosby, Matt Hoffman, Henry Rodriguez, Bryan LaHair, Nick Moore, Joe Winterburn, and Sergio Gomez.
- The following minor league players saw action with the big league club in spring training games last week: Blake Tekotte, Mike Miller, Tim Roberson, Reed Gragnani, Sam Travis, Shannon Wilkerson, Henry Rodriguez, David Chester, Blake Swihart, Forrestt Allday, Carlos Asuaje, Oscar Tejeda, Jantzen Witte, Kevin Heller, Mario Martinez, Cole Sturgeon, Travis Shaw, Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra, Keith Couch, Jonathan Aro, Jess Todd, Miguel Celestino, Noe Ramirez, Robby Scott, Kyle Kraus, Pat Light, Joseph Monge, and Tzu-Wei Lin.
Photo Credit: Matt Barnes and Mauricio Dubon by Kelly O'Connor